- NCC Hopeful on 30% Broadband Rollout
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed optimism on achieving the 30 per cent penetration in the country targeted by the National Broadband Plan.
Currently, experts say the country’s broadband penetration is largely driven by the availability and relative affordability of mobile phones while the fixed remains in limbo. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has put fixed broadband penetration in the country at a miserable 0.01 per cent, rubbishing the 21 per cent being celebrated in the country.
But the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof Garba Dambatta, said the target remained a focal point for the regulator. He said: “Our target to achieve 30 per cent broadband rollout in the country by end of this year 2018 remains in focus.”
According to Dambatta, there is no doubt that ICT is pivotal to the growth and sustainability of macro-economic activities while stability and operational integrity as a growth vehicle are critical to success.
“Communications being the backbone on which that growth will leverage, the sector and its regulator have to lead in ways and means that will build the confidence needed to drive the volume of investment and capital that will be needed to not only ensure attainment, but sustain it.
“Communications have made great and impressive strides in our national economic landscape over the past 16 years, but given advances in communications innovations and their impact on the sector, the needs of society for communications have become more imperative than they were in 2001. The advent of broadband, LTE (long term evolution) and Internet of Things (IoT) have made the need for focused development more urgent than ever.
“Having noted that communication governance is international in scope and dimension and that the fund and capital for it are dynamic, it calls, therefore, for governance practices that are wholly in alignment to international benchmarks, in other words international best practices,” he said during his opening remarks at a sensitisation forum on corporate governance code in Kano at the weekend.
According to him, ICT sector is pivotal to the overall attainment of national developmental objectives, hence the need for the sector to lead in integrity, transparency, accountability and ethically, which are the values espoused and promoted by the principles of the code.
“In appreciation of the relevance of our sector to the attainment of those objectives, the regulator is committed to deliver regulatory excellence and facilitate operational efficiency, geared towards making the sector attractive to drive the level of investment and capital inflow needed.
“Current evaluation report of the state of the industry suggests that whilst not understating the impact of other external and fiscal issues confronting the sector, that most challenges negatively affecting the health of operators in the sector today are attributable to poor governance issues.
“The Commission is determined to provide needed regulatory interventions to ensure that the sector plays effectively the enabling role it is mandated to create by the Act, the NCA 2003. It is currently rejigging its regulatory oversights in the areas of ensuring that consumers get cost effective value for money spent on telecommunication services; and that service delivery by providers are qualitative and efficient.
Julius Berger Diversifies into Agro-processing
Julius Berger Steps into Agro-processing to Seize Diversification Opportunity
Julius Berger, a leading construction company in Nigeria, said its board of directors has approved a diversification opportunity for the firm in agro-processing.
The approval was done at a meeting held on September 22, the company stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Julius Berger said the approval would help the company capitalised on diversification opportunities in the agro-processing industry, especially with the emerging developments in Nigeria and government ongoing reforms to make the nation self-sufficient.
The statement read in part: “We would advise the exchange and the capital market that the Board of Julius Berger at its meeting held on September 22, 2020 approved a diversification opportunity for the company in agro-processing.
“The Board of Directors and the executive management of Julius Berger strongly believes that this diversification direction would support the continued success of the group in the future and align with the strategic objective of the government to stimulate value creation in Nigeria.”
However, Julius Berger reiterated its commitment to maintaining and strengthening its leadership in the nation’s construction sector.
Some Nigerians Are Charging Ship Owners Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage
Ship Owners Are Paying Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage in Nigeria
Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, on Thursday said certain people are charging ship owners illegal $1,200 per day for secure anchorage in Nigeria.
The minister registered his displeasure with continuous patronage of illegal harbours known within the circle as secure anchorage areas.
Amaechi, who spoke at the ‘2020 World Maritime Day Celebration which held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos’ said the issue was unsettling.
He said, “There is a crisis in the maritime sector. The crisis is on the issue of security.
“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 to the detriment of shipping companies.
“That one individual is still managing the business with support of other institutions.”
The minister also accused stakeholders of doing nothing to these individuals, saying only the government had the right to step up secure anchorage area
174,574 Persons Apply For COVID-19 Support Fund Within 48 Hours
Survival Fund: 174,574 Persons Apply For COVID-19 MSME Support
More Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has applied for Federal Government financial support under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.
According to the agency in charge of the program, within 48 hours of opening the registration portal of N75 billion National Survival Fund, a total of 174,574 applications were successfully registered for both the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus and Survival Fund schemes.
The schemes were instituted to support businesses and individuals negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, on Thursday in Abuja said as at “8.30am this (Thursday) morning, total successful registrations stood at 174,574.”
She further stated that “the following states have the highest applications as follows, Kano, 19,895; Kaduna, 13,575; Lagos, 13,640; Katsina: 8,383; Federal Capital Territory, 8,085.”
Katagum said about 138,000 applications were registered within the first 24 hours of opening the portal, these applicants created profiles and completed the first stage of registration with Kano, Kaduna and Lagos emerging as lead states.
She explained that all successful applicants were sent SMS and email verification with a list of requirements for the second stage of application which would commence on October 1, 2020.
“Applicants will be required to upload details supporting their applications which will be verified and if successful, approved for disbursements,” the minister stated.
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